Tag Archives: gaslighting

How Narcissists Make You Feel Dysfunctional

Narcissists seem to have a “gift” for making their victims feel that they are the problem in the relationship, that they are the ones who are dysfunctional, not the narcissist.  Often, they are so talented at doing this, a victim is completely baffled as to how it happened.  This post will explain some ways narcissists accomplish this.

Narcissists love gaslighting.  Gaslighting is the systematic tearing down of a person’s sanity.  Narcissists will deny having done something, deny the incident happened as it did, find a way to blame the victim for the problem & more.  Constant gaslighting tears down a person’s ability to trust their own memories, feelings, perceptions & yes, even sanity.

Narcissists either imply or say outright that their victims are crazy.  My mother used to tell me often, “You need help.”  It was accompanied by a pitying expression.  She was implying I was in dire need of psychological help, yet, never got it for me.  Why?  Because she knew I was sane.  I, however, had doubts for most of my life about my sanity.  After all, no one would say such a thing to their own child if it wasn’t true, I thought.

Narcissists project their faults onto their victims.  Narcissists view others through a very distorted lens.  Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to the corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure; both their mind and their conscience are corrupted.”  (AMP)  One aspect of this is accusing their victims of the very things that they themselves do, even when there is no evidence of the victim doing anything of the sort.  They often accuse their victims with such certainty, the victim may believe the accusations are true.  There is one good thing about projection.  It can be useful in learning what the narcissist is really up to.  The narcissistic husband who claims his wife is unfaithful is most likely having an affair.  The narcissistic mother who accuses her child of lying is a lair.  Listening to what the narcissist accuses you of can give you a great deal of insight into what they are truly like.

Narcissists love the silent treatment as a weapon.  In my late teens, my mother & I argued constantly.  One of her favorite ways to hurt me was to give me the silent treatment.  I would beg her to tell me what was wrong, & she either refused to answer or would say, “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you!”  At the time, either scenario was devastating.  Saying nothing showed me I wasn’t worth her time or energy to speak to.  Saying she wouldn’t tell me if I didn’t know what was wrong made me feel crazy, stupid & ashamed for not knowing what egregious sin I had committed.

Narcissists lack self awareness.  Rather than question that maybe, just maybe, they might be the problem in their relationships, they blame all relationship woes on other people.  If you aren’t aware of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be quite easy to believe that the narcissist is right, & you are at fault for their problems or the problems in your relationship.

Narcissists are provokers.  In other words, narcissists will do whatever it takes to push their victims to the point of rage so they can use that rage to prove to the victim that the victim is crazy, abusive, irrational or anything else.  Since the narcissist stays calm while the victim is clearly upset, it’s easy for the victim to believe what the narcissist says at this point.

Narcissists will say that they forgive you, even when you have done nothing wrong.  By saying this, they are implying that you are the problem in this situation, & they are very good & kind people to forgive you for the awful things you have done.

Learning about these tactics can help you to protect your mental health, & not fall for the narcissist’s lies that you & you alone are the dysfunctional one in the relationship.

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Dealing With Guilt Trips

One very popular weapon in the narcissistic arsenal is guilt.  Covert narcissists in particular are very fond of using guilt as a means of control.  It’s understandable it’s such a common weapon considering how very effective guilt can be.  It also is unfair & even cruel.

So how can you cope when your narcissistic parent uses guilt trips?

First, pray.  Ask God for wisdom & discernment so you understand when guilt is being used on you & ways to cope with it.

You also need to recognize what is a guilt trip & what isn’t.  You need to know when someone is saying something to manipulate you or to help you to change & improve yourself.  Statements like, “It hurt my feelings when you said/did….” can help you.  Statements that simply make you feel guilty like, “After all I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me?” however aren’t to help you, but to control you.

You also need to be aware of the fact narcissistic supply is at the root of every single thing a narcissist does.  Guilt trips are a part of that.  Being able to control someone via guilt provides supply as does seeing that person upset about the guilt.  The more you allow the guilt trips to work on you, the more the narcissist will use them on you.  The best thing you can do is to pretend not to notice the guilt at all when you’re in the narcissist’s presence.  Later, when away from her, vent to your heart’s content of course, but when in her presence or even on the phone with her, pretend you didn’t notice a thing.  If she realizes guilt trips don’t work on you, she’ll stop using them since she sees they aren’t effective.

Don’t justify yourself or your actions.  If you do, you’re only making yourself look guilty, which could mean the narcissist will get meaner.  Probably my most successful interaction with my late covert narcissist mother in-law involved guilt from her.  She wanted me to do something for her one day but I had plans.  Granted, I could’ve changed them, but I didn’t want to.  Not for someone who hated me & treated me so poorly.  She kept trying to find out what my plans were.  She said things like, “You sure must have something important to do if you won’t do this for me.”  “I guess you’re doing something for your parents since you won’t help me…”  Rather than explain my plans (which weren’t her business!), I ignored her.  Since I didn’t tell her, she got mad, but couldn’t be mad at me without looking foolish in front of her husband & mine.  By not justifying my actions, I protected my privacy, avoided more nastiness from her & she never tried to guilt trip me again.  In fact, I found the entire thing funny because her behavior was so ridiculous.  Much better to laugh than to be angry or hurt!

Remember, if you have done something wrong, you should feel some guilt since it will help you to improve your behavior.  However, if you haven’t done anything wrong, then do NOT allow the guilt trip to work on you.

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Some Red Flags That Actually Sound “Christian” At First

I have the comments on my blog set up so that anyone who has commented previously can post comments with no problem.  Anyone who hasn’t, their comments must be approved by me.  Their comments are emailed to me & I either can select “approve” or do nothing & the comment sits in my “pending” folder until I approve or delete it.  It’s a wonderful feature!  It helps me eliminate spam or even abuse by my “lovely” family.  It also helps me to eliminate the garden variety narcissist, flying monkey or invalidating person, which is the point of this post.

So, a few years back, I posted this post about how I was angry with my narcissistic mother.  If you read the post, you’ll see that the reason for my anger was valid & even normal.  The comments on the post show several people understood & validated my feelings.  One person apparently did not agree with my feelings when reading the post a few months ago.  This person hadn’t commented on any of my posts before, so it was a comment I had to review to approve or not before it would post.  I read it & didn’t approve it.  Only recently did I realize it was still in my “pending” folder.  I approve almost every comment so there’s rarely a need to visit that folder, which is why this comment sat there for so long.

Upon realizing said comment was still in my pending folder recently, I was surprised.  I figured I’d deleted it long ago.  Oops.. yea, my memory is really bad.  My first thought when I realized it was still there was to just delete it, but then I realized this could be a good teaching tool.  Why not use it as such before deleting??

Without further ado, here is the comment….

I do not know you, or your family all. I found you through a search asking, “how a Christian can honor our narcissistic parents”. And the first article with that title I thought was kind of helpful—but I got a whiff of anger there. So, I went to your next article. And I just have to say that I’m not really seeing a Christian response. I am seeing a very human response. And I understand that response, believe me! My friend, I don’t believe you are walking in the victory I was hoping to find. I believe you are very bitter, and very angry. This blog post shows, now I’m being very honest here, because I do not know you, and I’m coming at this from the outside, you wrote the article—-and yet I do not believe that you are portrayed very favorably in this article! Not showing your mother the common courtesy of answering her greeting, does not seem Christlike. The Bible tells us to bless our enemies. Jesus said to bless our enemies and turn the other cheek. In that context I believe we must choose not to be offended, period. We answer to God for what we do in this life. Not for what was done to us. You are angry, (a sin according to Jesus himself) at everyone in this story, and bitterly vindictive. In your eyes you are the only faultless victim. We know what that thinking reflects when those around us act in that manner. Your whole life, certainly all your writing, seems to revolve around a passive/aggressive “outing” of all our family’s faults. In studying narcissism, I have read that this is a symptom of the disorder. When we become a Christian and except Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior over our lives, we give him our rights—because He put aside all of His rights to be the atonement for our sins. Now we belong to Him. We were bought by His precious blood! We give him our human frailties, and ask for the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts and make us a new creature! This way we can have God‘s Holy nature, which is much stronger than our human nature; —the nature that is full of bitterness and anger. And then we can love people and see them the way God sees them. And the Holy Spirit can heal our hearts! And here is something you might not know: God is able to cure even a narcissist! I pray for you, that you can move on and out, away from anger and bitterness and accept your healing, and love like Jesus loves! Please pray for me too!

This sort of thing happens when you have survived narcissistic abuse. So many of us have heard it all before.  Unfortunately, many of us also have internalized the faulty messages, which is unhealthy.

I decided to throw out some thoughts on these comments for your consideration…

Anger is not a sin.  Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.” (AMP)

Even Jesus was angry at people who behaved badly.  Matthew 21:12-13 “12 And Jesus entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice]. 13 Jesus said to them, “It is written [in Scripture], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.'” (AMP)

Discussing abuse isn’t a bad thing or sinful.  Ephesians 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.” (AMP)

Forgiveness doesn’t mean “forgive & forget.”  While Jesus did suggest we “turn the other cheek,” He also said this which proves that forgiveness doesn’t mean giving someone a free pass to be abusive: Matthew 18: 15-17 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector.” (AMP)

Jesus didn’t tolerate things quietly & spoke openly of wrong doings.  Matthew 3:7 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the [divine] wrath and judgment to come?”  (AMP)
Matthew 12:34 “You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”  (AMP)

By sharing this comment & my thoughts, I’m not trying to “out” the person who made the comment.  If I was, I’d share the person’s name wouldn’t I?  I’m also not being “passive/aggressive” or anything else.  My purpose to this post was simply this:  When a good example of something bad comes along, why not use it to help yourself & others when possible?!

When comments like this are made to a victim of narcissistic abuse, they can sound really good.  Scripture was referred to, which can make any Christian rethink their actions.  I certainly did when I first read it.  After some prayer & thought though, I realized this person twisted Scripture around to use it in a bad way.  And that, Dear Reader, is a very common tactic used by flying monkeys & other narcissists.

If someone says similar things to you that this person said to me, then please, don’t blindly accept it!  You need wisdom & discernment!  Consider the Scriptures used as they are in the Bible, not as a stand alone verse as the person uses them.  Pray.  Ask God to show you the truth.  Think about what makes sense to you.  Trust your instincts too.  If something doesn’t feel quite right, then it most likely isn’t right.  Even the most well meaning people can make mistakes.  And, even the most innocent acting narcissist can be extremely manipulative.

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The Truth About Being The Bigger Person

Have you ever been discussing the abuse from the narcissist in your life with someone who has told you that you need to be the bigger person & let this go?  I have.  Lots of times.  So have many other victims of all kinds of abuse.

Recently, this came to mind for some reason.  I thought about it & realized that this never felt right to me.  It seemed somehow patronizing, invalidating, manipulative & shaming but I was unsure why I felt that way.  After thinking about it, I think I figured the reasons.

If a victim is told they need to be the bigger person, it’s shaming.  It basically says, “Something is wrong with you for being upset about this! Get over it already!”  Shaming can be utterly devastating to victims of narcissistic abuse.  Nothing can shut down a victim faster than shame, in my opinion.  Saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” is an easy way for someone to stop a victim from discussing their abusive situation & pain.

Some people who have survived abusive relationships absolutely refuse to face their pain.  They ignore it, or even pretend the abuse didn’t happen or that it wasn’t really abusive.  When someone discusses their abusive history, these people are determined to shut them down immediately, because they don’t want any reminders of their own pain.  They may not be acting out of malice as some people do.  They simply don’t have the strength or courage to face their pain.  Telling a victim to be the bigger person is an effective way for them to shut the victim down without sounding harsh.

If the person who says this is also a narcissist, that puts an interesting spin on the situation.  That person probably sees no problem with the abuse, since they act in a similar way.  When the victim points out it’s wrong, that could be offending this narcissist’s sensibilities.  He or she wants to shut down the victim so he or she can go on acting terribly without any remorse.  Not to mention, it’s not about the narcissist, so the narcissist couldn’t care less.  Narcissists also lack empathy, so the narcissist doesn’t want to be bothered with what he or she sees as your petty problems. Or maybe the person could be a flying monkey of the original narcissist, & simply trying to shut the victim down & force the victim to continue to tolerate the awful & abusive behavior from their narcissist.

“You need to be the bigger person!” also shows that the person saying it thinks that the victim has the ability to be mature.  They aren’t saying it to the abuser, after all.  That can be flattering, & as victims, most of us aren’t used to someone believing anything good about us.  It can be a good way for someone to shut down a victim while assuring the victim won’t get angry with the person saying this stupid phrase since it can sound flattering.

I truly believe that someone saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” basically boils down to a way that people try to silence victims by using shaming while simultaneously making victims feel they should not be angry at the person who is attempting to shut them down with this phrase.  And in many cases, the person saying it also is trying to convince the victim to tolerate the abuse.  It’s a lot packed into one phrase, isn’t it?

If someone says this to you, please take it as a red flag!  This person isn’t safe for you to open up to about the abuse that you’ve endured!  Of course you should talk about it not only to help yourself heal but also to help raise awareness of the horrors of narcissistic abuse.  However, not everyone is safe to talk with about your experiences.  Use wisdom in choosing who to open up to.  Anyone who tells you to be the bigger person is NOT someone you need to open up to!

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How Narcissists Use Shame To Abuse, part 2

 

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How To Prevent A Narcissist From Wanting To Resume The Relationship With You

Severing ties with a narcissist is never easy.  Not only due to the simple fact that ending any relationship is hard, but also because of the fact they don’t exactly handle this well.  While no one likes to have someone end a relationship with them, it can become devastating to a narcissist.  They will do about anything to get their victim to return to the relationship, often only so they can later discard their victim on their terms.  This article will help you to avoid behaviors that can encourage a narcissist to want you back.

Naturally, do your best to avoid any interaction whatsoever with the narcissist after no contact.  Narcissists don’t think like normal people, obviously, so they are prone to taking any interaction after no contact as a sign the relationship has been resumed.  Take away their hope in that area if at all possible.

Sometimes even when doing your best to avoid a narcissist, they find ways to interject themselves into your life.  One way they do this is by stalking & harassing their victims.  They inundate victims with constant phone calls, text messages, social media messages & even postal mail.  Or, they may show up places they know you frequent such as your favorite coffee shop.  This can be incredibly unnerving.  I’ve been on the receiving end of such behavior from two narcissists in my life, & I found it terrifying.  I also learned that narcissists often know stalking & harassment laws well, so they stay just barely legal.  This means getting a restraining order is very difficult, if not impossible.  The most effective ways I know how to handle such behavior are never to respond to anything they send you & to block the narcissist at every pass.  Granted, he or she probably will find ways around your blocks, such as creating new email addresses or social media accounts, but block them too.  Keep blocking.  If they have flying monkeys who tell you to talk to them, block them too.  Do NOT engage either the narcissist or the flying monkey at all.  Ever!

If you can’t avoid the narcissist completely, always remember the Gray Rock method.  In other words, provide zero narcissistic supply.  You know this person well, so naturally you know what makes him or her happy.  Deprive this person of it.  Provide no praise, no complements, no offers to do things for him or her.  Also share absolutely no personal information about yourself.  If she asks what you’re doing later, say you have plans & leave it at that.  How is your job going?  “Fine.”  One or two word answers are the best.

Show no emotions to this person.  You aren’t happy, sad, angry… anything.  You are completely neutral in his or her presence.  Emotions feed narcissists.  If you’re happy, they can destroy it so you’re as miserable as they are.  If they make you sad or angry, they feel powerful, so they’ll do that thing again to get their “high”.  Deprive them of that feeding.

Show no remorse for anything you have done, including no contact.  If you show you feel any sadness, guilt, or regrets, the narcissist will pounce on you like a hungry lion.

Do not give in to anything the narcissist tries to make you do.  I don’t care if it’s something silly like passing them the salt shaker over lunch, don’t do it if it can be avoided.  If not, do it perfunctorily.

By doing these things, you are essentially making yourself very unattractive to the narcissist in your life.  They want people who will prop up their egos, blindly obey them & make them the center of their world.  People who refuse to do such things are of no use to a narcissist, so a narcissist will leave them alone.

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Why Do Narcissistic Parents Side With Their Child’s Abuser?

My mother hated my ex husband from the moment she first saw him.  She barely tolerated him after we got married… until he hit me.  At that time, my mother saw me injured a couple of days after, with my ex’s hand prints still bruised on my wrists.  She told my father she couldn’t imagine what I’d done to him to make him hurt me.  Months later, I learned my parents saw my ex around town & were friendly with him.  Around 18 years later, my mother called one day & said my father told her my ex hit me.  She asked if this was true.  I said yes.  She told me how if she would’ve known, she would’ve contacted a lawyer & pursued it.  I also realized during this conversation that seeing me battered meant nothing to my mother, & she forgot it happened.

Sadly, my story is not unique.  Narcissistic parents often side with their child’s abuser.  The facts don’t matter.  According to narcissistic parents, the abuser is right & their child is wrong.  This behavior can be one of the most painful & baffling of the many abusive behaviors of a narcissist.

I have some clues as to why narcissistic parents behave in this manner.

When someone upstages a narcissist in any way, it’s bad in the narcissist’s eyes.  People pity another person covered in bruises or wearing a cast, which means there is less attention for the narcissist.  To a narcissist, this means that person should be punished, & what better way to punish someone than to side with the person who hurt them?

If their child doesn’t have physical evidence of abuse, their parent doesn’t believe them.  Narcissists lie & assume everyone else does.  It’s projection.  So unless their child has evidence of abuse, their parent won’t  even believe they were abused.

Narcissists believe they are the only ones worthy of attention, so when another person, in particular their “lowly” child gets attention, they get angry.  With narcissists, any attention is good attention.  All they see is someone got attention that they didn’t get, & that makes that person bad.

Narcissists don’t want to accept that abuse is wrong, because then they would be wrong.  Rather than face truth, it’s better in a narcissist’s mind to normalize abuse & make the victim bad.

If the abuser was the other parent, making the abuse ok means it was  also ok that they didn’t protect their child.  Remember, with narcissists, everything is about them.  If they can spin your trauma around to how hard it was on them, denying knowing it happened, or denying it happened at all, it makes their lack of protecting their child acceptable.

The abuser is someone a narcissist admires & they’re afraid the victim will make them look bad.  Narcissists care what people other than their victim think of them & certain people’s opinions they value above all else.  If that person hurts their child, their primary concern is still how that person sees them.  As an example, my mother believed my in-laws’ were a big happy family.  When I told my parents my mother in-law was abusive, even siting examples, my mother didn’t believe me.  Until our relationship ended, my mother asked my husband often how his mother was, sent his parents Christmas cards, then bragged to me about sending them cards.

Jealousy is another reason narcissistic parents side with abusers.  In cases where a narcissist’s adult child is being stalked &/or harassed, most narcissists act like the abuser really must love their child rather than realizing the abuser has serious control issues.  This makes them jealous.

Narcissistic parents are often lazy.  Just because they have a child doesn’t mean they want to parent.  They get angry if they have to care for their child, & take the focus off of them for any length of time.

Covert narcissistic parents like to rescue their child.  Coverts gain narcissistic supply from appearing good & kind, so if they can wait until their child is terribly abused, then rescue him or her in some way, it’s  supply to them.

Whatever the reasoning, remember when your narcissistic parent sides with someone who has hurt or abused you, it is just more evidence that your parent is the one with the problem, NOT you!  Normal people don’t side with abusers over victims!  xoxo

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Simple Answers Are The Best

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How Narcissists Use Cars To Abuse

Narcissists will use anything at their disposal to abuse & control their victims, & that even includes cars.

If a victim has hurt a narcissist somehow or even simply set boundaries with the narcissist, the narcissist may drive like a maniac in an attempt to scare the victim.  After I broke off the engagement with my now ex husband, we went somewhere together & he was driving very erratically.  It terrified me & I asked him to stop it.  He said it was my fault he drove that way, because after I broke up with him, he didn’t care if he lived or died.

Cars are also an excellent place for a narcissist to have complete control over their victims.  The victim has no means of escaping the narcissist’s car, so there is no choice but to tolerate whatever is done in that car.  In my late teens when my mother’s abuse was at its worst, she refused to let me get my license & a car.  Naturally, this meant she took me to & from school & work.  Each ride was sheer hell for me because she screamed & raged at me the entire ride.  I had no way of escaping either since I needed to get to my destinations, so there was no choice but to tolerate it.

Narcissists also often want to be the driver because this means their victim/passenger only can go where the narcissist wants to go & on her time schedule, not the victim’s.   If they want to go somewhere with their victim, they will tell the victim what time they will pick him or her up, or tell the victim to come to the narcissist’s home so the narcissist can drive them to their destination.  It’s all about control, & all victims know, narcissists love to have control over their victim in every possible way.

There are also some narcissists who don’t drive.  This is most prevalent with covert narcissists rather than overt.  They may play the naive & innocent role, claiming it is just too hard to drive.  Since overt narcissists usually avoid appearing in a way that can look weak somehow, they usually drive.  Again, this is all about control.  If a narcissist can’t or won’t drive, this forces the narcissist’s victims to take care of her by either taking her places or doing things for her.

I’m certainly not saying that everyone who is a bad driver, who prefers to be the one driving or doesn’t drive is a narcissist, of course.  Some people are simply more daring behind the wheel than others.  There are also many people who develop serious anxiety behind the wheel, & they realize they shouldn’t be behind the wheel.  There are others who love driving or who feel safest when they are driving.  These people obviously aren’t narcissists, & you can tell they aren’t narcissists by their behavior.  The daring driver is daring all of the time, not only after someone has upset him somehow.  The anxious person asks for rides &/or offers gas money rather than expects others to help.  The person who prefers being the driver never gets upset when someone says they want to drive or meet them somewhere.

If you have recently met someone, & think the person may be a narcissist, this is one way to help you to figure it out.  Watch how the person is when it comes to driving.

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When Narcissists Ignore Their Victims

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Narcissists & Special Days

Much like my last post, this one was inspired by some random ponderings related to my first marriage.

Let me set the stage for our third wedding anniversary.  My ex & I were living with his parents, which was his idea & not something I wanted to do.  About 2 months prior, I spontaneously severed ties with my mother.  I don’t even remember why anymore, but I was angry at her.  My ex also pressured me about kicking her out of my life for years.  I pretty much just snapped.  I hadn’t felt right about severing ties with my mother since doing it, because it wasn’t well thought out.

On the day of our anniversary, both of his parents were home, & planning to drive to my ex father in-law’s sister’s home in PA for Christmas, as they always did.  My ex mother in-law & I were in the kitchen talking when the phone rang.  She answered it, & suddenly darted around the corner.  It was unusual, but I didn’t think much more of it.  Later after my ex got home from work, I looked at the caller ID in our room & saw my parents’ number.  Immediately it clicked- that was why his mom hid from me while on the phone.  I mentioned it to him & said maybe I should call her back (obviously this was well before learning about NPD).  He got furious with me & I got furious back.  I got in my car & left to cool off for a bit.

When I got home an hour or two later, my ex mother in-law was waiting for me.  She took me aside & told me I had to make things right.  I upset my ex so badly, he was punching walls after I left.

I ended up being the bad guy in this whole situation.  For upsetting my ex & also upsetting his parents by “storming out of the house without telling anyone i was leaving” (I was 22- didn’t realize I had to check in with anyone at this point in my life..).

You know something though?  If my mother hadn’t called, none of this would have happened.  She knew my ex hated her as much as she hated him.  She had to know her calling would start a fight between us.  Yet, she called anyway, & on our wedding anniversary of all days!

There’s also my ex.  Another narcissist, he had to make my painful situation with my mother all about him & what he wanted & what he thought I should do.  He also had to make sure his parents knew just how upset he was & how that was all my fault, knowing his mother would intervene.

This is typical narcissist behavior!!  They just had to ruin what should have been a special & happy day.  They use anything they can to destroy any joy in their victim’s life.

My point in sharing this with you, Dear Reader, is this.  If you have a narcissist in your life in any way – parent, spouse, cousin, anything –  be prepared for your special days to be ruined.  This is one of their favorite tactics.  My third anniversary with my ex is hardly the only special day that has been ruined by narcissists in my life.  Countless birthday have been miserable.  So many Thanksgivings & Christmases have been ruined by narcissists like my pushy, demanding in-laws & my ex & current husbands opting to spend those days with them over me that now I absolutely dread those two holidays.  I used to thoroughly enjoy Christmas (not Thanksgiving so much), & now once November 1 arrives, I start dreading the pending holidays & am pretty angry until they’re done.

Narcissists love to destroy any joy in their victims.  Probably because they want their victims to be as miserable as they are.  It also makes them feel powerful if they can have some control over a person’s emotions.  Feeling powerful is great narcissistic supply, after all, so it’s no wonder they enjoy this scenario so much.

Obviously, there is no way to stop a narcissist from ruining your special days.  The best advice I have is to keep in mind that they are going to try ruining them at some point so you aren’t shocked when it happens.  It will help you to be prepared.

Your best bet is if  at all possible, avoid the narcissist completely on special days.  If you can’t, try to keep in mind they aren’t happy until those around them are totally miserable like they are.  Deprive them of that narcissistic supply.  Don’t let them see that what they do & say bothers you.

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Phrases That Shut Narcissists Down

Don’t you wish you knew some ways to shut the narcissist in your life down & make them behave?  Well, I can’t promise you some magical words that make narcissists behave, but there are some things you can say to shut them down temporarily…

  • Don’t let the narcissist change the subject.  When you need to discuss something important to you such as the narcissist’s bad behavior, you can count on her changing the subject in an attempt to avoid being called out.  As frustrating as it can be, keep changing the subject back to what you want to discuss.
  • Let the narcissist know she doesn’t scare you.  Narcissists love to intimidate their victims, but truthfully, most of their “intimidation” is nothing but smoke & mirrors.  In typical bully fashion, narcissists often make threats they won’t follow through on in an attempt to scare victims into doing their will.  What is the worst this person can do to you?  Chances are when you think about it, you’ll realize it’s not really a lot.
  • Use logic.  Ask logical questions.  “So you think I should do what you want even though I don’t want to do it.  Why?  How does doing that benefit me?  Seems to me it benefits you & hurts me.”  “You think I’m fat?  You know I weigh 110 pounds.  Unless a person is 2′ tall, that’s not fat, & I’m taller than that.”  “How is it my fault you lost your job?”  Doing this in a calm way calls the narcissist out in such a manner that she can’t get mad at you without looking foolish.  Often, they simply change the subject when a victim does this.  End of nasty comments!
  • Do not allow the narcissist to make decisions for you.  Any decisions that the narcissist makes for you gives her a bit of control over you, even if it’s something as simple as what you order for dinner.  If she tells you to try the soup, order a sandwich.  Simply say something like, “No thanks.. I want to do/try this instead.”  in a calm manner & follow through.
  • Do not take orders from the narcissist.  Narcissists do love to control others, don’t they?!  My mother used to bark out orders to me like I was the hired help.  I found a way to put a stop to it when I realized just how much she enjoyed doing this.  When she told me to do something, I would do it but add in a comment like, “Of course!  I’d be glad to do it since you asked so nicely.  You’re welcome!”  The first time I did that, the look of shock on her face was priceless.  But, it did change her behavior for a bit.  When she slid into her old habits, I said the same kind of comment & she behaved again for a while.  Or, if it was something I didn’t want to do, I’d nicely say, “Nope.  Not gonna happen.” & change the subject.  Usually a small narcissistic rage followed both of these, but it was very small usually consisting of a few snarky comments.
  • Say, “no” without any explanation.  This might just make the narcissist’s head explode.. lol  There isn’t one narcissist alive who is ok with being told no, but especially sans a good explanation.  You owe no one any explanation, especially a narcissist who will just twist your words around to make you look & feel bad, so don’t give them that opportunity.  Honestly, doing this can kinda be fun too.. if you’ve read this story of mine before, I apologize for the repeat but it’s such a good example!  Years ago, when my husband & I were at his parents’ house, my mother in-law said she wanted me to do something for her.  I didn’t want to, plus I had an appointment on the day in question.  Although I could’ve rearranged things, I opted not to because she was so hateful to me.  “Quality time” with her was not something I wanted.  When she told me I could do this thing, I said no, I couldn’t.  She said, “Oh.  Well it must be awful important if you won’t help me because of it.”  I gave a non committal “hmm mm.”  As the visit wore on, she kept bringing it up.  “You must be doing something for your parents that day.”  “Nope.”  I forget what all she asked me, but each time, I either said no or didn’t respond at all.  By the time we left her house, I was surprised her head didn’t explode!  She was dying to know my plans & couldn’t get mad at me for not sharing them without looking like a jerk to my father in-law & husband!  It was amazing!!!

Although nothing can stop narcissists completely, doing these simple things will help you to keep your sanity & make them behave better even if only temporarily.  I wish you the best in your situation!

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Ways To Identify Controlling People

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Infantilization

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November 28, 1990 Was A Day I Never Will Forget.. Even Though I’d Like To

This day is a difficult one for me.  On November 28, 1990, my mother physically assaulted me.

It was the day before Thanksgiving.  I got home from work & as soon as I walked through the door, I could tell my mother was itching for a fight.  No idea why.  My father could see it too, so he quickly said he got a new model airplane & wanted me to see it (we shared a love of models).  I practically ran downstairs.  I knew it was best never to give in when she was in that mood, so I was grateful for the means of escape.

We were downstairs for a few minutes when my mother stood at the top of the steps, yelling at me.  I’m not proud of it, but I finally had enough when she called my car “a hunk of junk” or something like that.  I snapped & cussed her out.  It just happened.  I don’t think the words went near my brain – they just came out.  This enraged her, & she started yelling at my father.  “Did you hear what she just said to me!?  Are you going to let her get away with that?!”  My father quietly went upstairs, & left the house while my mother raged at him.

Meanwhile, I went into my room to grab my keys & purse so I could do the same.  As I walked back down the hall to get to the door, my mother stepped in my path.  She told me she wasn’t going to let me leave.  I told her get out of my way before I make you do it.  She blocked the doorway by putting her hands & feet against it.  I pushed her aside (not knocking her down, just knocking her a bit off balance so I could rush past her).  I ran to grab my shoes & by then she was steady on her feet again.  Before I knew it, she was in my face, & slammed me into the wall beside the front door, & held me there.  My head was the only part I could move.

Two things went through my mind at that moment…

 

  1. The pain was intense as my back popped from my tailbone to my neck.  It was this incredibly loud POPPOPPOPPOP sound that felt like it went on forever.
  2. My mother’s eyes had turned BLACK.  Jet black!  I’d seen that before & it always terrified me.

 

Suddenly I blacked out, I assume from the intense pain & fear.  When I came to a moment later, I was biting her on the arm.  She & I were both shocked at what I had done.  My shock wore off a bit faster than hers, so I ran out the door & to my car & sped off in a cloud of tire smoke.

I believe my mother wanted to kill me, & if I wouldn’t have blacked out like that, she probably would have succeeded.

Interestingly, I caught up to my father at a traffic light.  We pulled over & I told him what happened.  We then went to my now ex husband’s parents’ home since it was nearby.  My father later went to his parents’ home in Virginia.  I moved in with a friend’s parents that night, & got my things from my parents’ home a couple of days later.

Naturally, my mother never accepted any responsibility in this.  In fact, when I had to quit working a few months later, she told people I was just lazy & faking back problems to get out of working.  And, in 2014, my father mentioned this incident..  He told me it’s ok, I didn’t have to apologize for busting up his wall.  How kind, right?!  I never even thought of how the wall was damaged, but he said it was really bad.  He fixed it though, so I didn’t need to apologize.  I told him I had no plans on doing so!  Not my fault my mother broke it by slamming me into it!

This incident along with having extremely selfish in-laws who have demanded my husband & I spend the day with them no matter what (I spent it alone when I refused to go) is why I absolutely hate Thanksgiving.  Kinda hard to feel warm & fuzzy about the day when  there are memories like this assault & years of jerky acting in-laws associated with it.

I honestly thought I was ok with this incident.  (Well, as ok as one can be when they think about their mother trying to kill them & father abandoning them to an obviously raging lunatic.)  What makes it even harder, I think, is this year, the dates have fallen on the exact days they fell on in 1990, so in some weird way, I almost feel like I’m reliving that time of my life.  I feel some of the same shock & anger I felt when it happened, just to a much lesser degree.  I feel disappointment too.  In my father for abandoning me that night, in my ex for making it all about how he felt about the incident & not caring about my pain (I think he even spent Thanksgiving with his family out of state the following day, if memory serves correctly), & my friend’s father who found it hilarious I bit my mother. I’m even disappointed in my mother for not only attacking me but using it as one more weapon to trash me to other people then expecting me to act like it never happened.  I’m also disappointed in myself for failing to press charges against my mother.  The thought never crossed my mind until not long ago when I friend mentioned it.

I’m also less than thrilled that thinking about this has made my C-PTSD flare up.  Hardly surprising though.  So if there are spelling or grammar errors in here, please pardon me.  I tried to catch them all a couple of days after writing this, but it doesn’t always happen with flare ups.

I don’t even know why I’m writing all of this as a blog post.  I do promise to keep my writing real but even so, this isn’t like me.  Usually things like this I write in my journal, maybe sharing details later once I have had some time to come to terms with whatever the trauma was.  For some reason though, I felt I needed to write this in my blog instead. Maybe someone who reads my blog needs to see this.  If that describes you, Dear Reader, I really hope this post helps you somehow.  ❤

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Simple Answers Are Often The Best Answers

Matthew 5:37  “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’ [a firm yes or no]; anything more than that comes from the evil one.”  (AMP)

One common sign that you grew up with a narcissistic parent is the need to over explain everything about yourself.  For example, if someone asks you to go with them & you don’t want to, you feel you must give them a very valid reason why you can’t rather than say “I don’t want to go there” or even simply “No.”

Maybe this is because our narcissistic parents made us so afraid of upsetting them, we learned early always to have a reason that they could accept.  Anything beat facing that scary narcissistic rage!

In any case, there is rarely a valid need to explain yourself, & definitely no need to over-explain yourself anymore.  Even the Bible says in Matthew 5:37 to keep it simple.  It doesn’t say you should go into great detail.  In fact, it says anything more comes from the “evil one.”

I don’t believe that this Scripture means you are evil if you over explain yourself.  I think it tells us that if you feel the need to do so, that someone evil or at least influenced by evil is putting that need in you.  If you think about it, mentally healthy people may ask for an explanation, but they don’t need a lot of details & they accept it even if they disagree with it.  Narcissists, however, require much more.  Let me provide an example..

Years ago, my late covertly narcissistic mother in-law asked me if I could do something for her in a few days.  I said no because I had an appointment that day.  (Granted, I could’ve moved things around & helped, but frankly, I didn’t want to- she was awful to me every single time we were alone.)  At this point, a mentally healthy person would’ve said, “Oh ok..” & figured out someone else to ask for help.  Not my mother in-law.  She obviously was upset I wouldn’t help her & wanted to know what I had to do that was more important to me than help her.  She asked what I had to do & I ignored her question.  She said, “Are you doing something for your parents?”  I said, “No.”  She said, “Well, it must be awful important if you can’t help me…”  (nice attempt at guilt, no?  lol  It didn’t work.)  I forget the other things she said, but until my husband & I left her home about 20 minutes later, she continually tried to get me to tell her why I wasn’t able to help her rather than simply accept the fact I had something else to do.  (On a funny note: Refusing to give her the information she wanted infuriated her.  But, she couldn’t admit that without looking bad in front of my husband & father in-law who were in the room with us.   It was hilarious to me, watching her get more & more frustrated & unable to do anything about it as I stayed calm.  Not sure how I didn’t laugh in her presence, but I held myself together until we were in the car & away from her home.)

This is typical narcissistic behavior- they feel they have the right to know every tiny detail about you when the truth is, they don’t have that right.  My no should have sufficed.  She truly didn’t care about me or what was going on in my life.  She only wanted to know what I was doing that day so she could use the information to criticize me for not helping her (“You think that is more important than me?!  That’s so mean!!  What’s wrong with you?”) or blab to her whole family my personal information.  Is that behavior not evil?

I think it is a good idea to use the reaction of a person to your “yes” & “no” as a gauge to see how safe a person is.  Safe people may sometimes ask you why you said what you did, but are satisfied with a simple explanation such as, “I have an appointment at that time & can’t make it.”  Unsafe people will respond as my mother in-law did- refusing to simply accept your answer, & doing their best to get you to explain in great detail why you responded to them as you did.

 

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Non Apologies

Non apologies are common among narcissists & their enabling flying monkeys, so you need to be aware of them.

 

A non apology means someone says they are sorry but it isn’t a genuine apology.  Some examples are:

 

  • I’m sorry you feel that way.
  • I’m sorry for whatever you think I did.
  • I’m sorry if I did something that upset you.
  • I’m sorry I said/did that, but if you wouldn’t have said/done what you did, I wouldn’t have said/done what I did.
  • I was just upset when I said that.

 

While these apologies do contain the words “I’m sorry”, they certainly aren’t real apologies.  They accept no responsibility for the bad behavior or make any promises this will not happen again or of better behavior in the future.

 

They also imply something is wrong with the person on the receiving end of the apology.  If someone tells you they were just upset when they did something bad, the average person with empathy will feel badly for being upset in the first place because the abuser was upset for what they did & can’t be held accountable for their actions.  If the abuser blames you for upsetting them enough to do something bad, the average person will feel badly for doing what they did that “made” the abuser do what they did.

 

A genuine apology is very different.  Even if the person making the apology doesn’t understand why the person offended feels as they do, the offender will promise not to do whatever they did again.  They will admit they were being insensitive or thoughtless.  They promise to amend their behavior & do it.  There isn’t judgment or criticism because someone is upset.  There isn’t blame.  There is simply love, concern & a desire not to hurt a person again.

 

When a narcissist or flying monkey gives you a non apology, look out.  They are going to resent you for “making” them apologize & you will be punished.  They may do the behavior again or do something worse.  They may act like nothing happened, which can invalidate your feelings or make you wonder if you imagined what happened or exaggerated how bad it was.  When this happens, focus on the truth & what you remember.  Keeping a journal can help you, because you can look back on the events which helps you focus on the truth rather than the narcissist’s version of it.  And as always, pray.  Ask God to help you to stay focused on the truth & to help you act accordingly.

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About Passive/Aggressive Behavior

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The Consummate Victim

Some covert narcissists are what I think of as the consummate victim.  They are the ones who are always wronged, always the victim, & never at fault for anything.  Some examples of their behavior are as follows.

 

The narcissist says something cruel.  You get angry, & rightfully so.  She claims she never meant to hurt your feelings.  She was just trying to help & had no idea what she said would upset you.  She then stops speaking to you for weeks, even if you apologized.

 

The narcissist tries to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do.  Naturally, you refuse to do it.  She claims you don’t love her.  How could you refuse to do this one little thing for her, especially after all she’s done for you?!

 

The narcissist is your elderly parent who expects you to come at their beck & call.  You tell your parent you only are available one day a week to do what she needs.  She tells your family how you refused to help her, & they attack you for being a bad daughter, ungrateful, a spoiled brat & more.

 

Narcissists who claim life is so unfair to them or that they are mistreated when people confront them on their abusive behavior are also consummate victims.  There are also those who blame their victims for their abusive behavior.  They are also consummate victims, as are those who complain about their problems, yet refuse to do something to change the situation.

 

Dealing with these people is incredibly frustrating, I know.  My late father & late mother in-law were both covert narcissists & consummate victims.  I repeatedly asked my father not to call after 9 at night.  When I refused to take his call when he called at 10 one evening, he called my in-laws & a cousin who lives almost 500 miles away.  He told both he was so concerned about me for not answering the phone, & asked them to have me call him immediately.  Another time, I was angry with my mother in-law because she had snooped through my purse yet again.  She asked my husband why I was angry, & he told her.  I overheard the conversation.  She claimed not to know what she did would be upsetting to me.

 

Both situations were similar.  As a result of my father’s & mother in-law’s actions, my husband & I got into an argument about his mother & my cousin & I argued about my father.  Being the typical consummate victims, their obnoxious behavior caused problems for the real victim while making themselves look good.

 

There are some things that you can do that can help you if you must deal with this behavior in covert narcissists.

 

Always rely on God to help you in this situation. He will be glad to help you discern the truth & strengthen you to do whatever you need to do!

 

Remember the type of person that you’re dealing with.  No matter what you do, this person will twist the situation around to make you look bad & them look like the innocent victim of your cruelty.  Expect nothing else because this person has no desire to behave any other way.

 

Also remember that there is nothing wrong with you setting boundaries or confronting this person on their abusive behavior.  Both of those are good things to do.  They are healthy & show you have self respect.

 

Consummate victims are very skilled at recruiting flying monkeys.  When you set those boundaries or confront the narcissist about her behavior, no matter how gently & reasonably you do so, it’s a safe bet someone will tell you how cruel, unreasonable, wrong, etc. you are.  When this happens, ignore whatever these flying monkeys have to say.  They don’t know the truth, only what the narcissist has told them.  Also, it’s best to refuse to discuss the narcissist with them.

 

Lastly, it’s also important to remember that consummate victims may project their status on their real victims.  It can be easy to believe their lies since narcissists are talented actors who give very convincing performances.  To avoid believing their lies, remember that you are NOT a consummate victim if you are angry about being abused, setting healthy boundaries or refusing to be manipulated.

 

If you are faced with a covert narcissist who portrays herself as a consummate victim, you can cope.  You have the knowledge & strength to handle this ugly situation.

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My Father Documented My Mother’s Abuse.. I Have Proof

Many years before my father died, he gave me his Bible and asked that I place it in his casket when he died.

 

He died October 23, 2017.  I remembered the Bible, and knew that even though I hadn’t spoken to him or my mother in quite some time, I needed to keep my promise about placing it in his casket.  The day after he passed away, I got it off the closet shelf, and opened it up for the first time.  I skimmed through things, putting aside things that didn’t look sentimental and putting the sentimental things back into the Bible.  I came across a piece of paper that was folded up very small.  It was something my father had written & I’d never seen.  Notes documenting some things my mother did to me & said about me to him.  Pretty sure my heart skipped a beat when I realized what I was looking at!  I was absolutely shocked!  I assume because my father’s memory was so damaged from a TBI at age 15, he documented things to be sure he wouldn’t forget.  It was a smart move, especially considering the gaslighting my mother put him through (yes, knowing about the brain damage, she used it to her advantage!).  Anyway, I put his notes aside to read later since I couldn’t cope with that at the time.  My focus had to be to get that Bible to the funeral parlor to be placed in his casket.  I accomplished my mission with the help of my husband that day, by the way.

 

A few days later, I read the notes.  It was quite overwhelming to put it mildly.  Even after all of this time, it’s still pretty overwhelming.  I’m still glad I have them though.  They helped validate my pain as well as give me some insight into my father & why he failed to protect me from my mother.

 

I thought I’d share them here.  Now you, Dear Reader, can see what I experienced, & know you’re not alone.  Narcissistic mother’s do terrible, terrible things, & I have written evidence of some of those things.

 

I also wrote comments of what I believe was happening in these events so others can learn about narcissistic behavior from examples.

 

I have another purpose for sharing this information, & that purpose is selfish, I admit it.  I have zero doubt at least one of my abusive flying monkey relatives (but I believe more) read my work.  I want them to see this undeniable proof that my mother abused me & my father didn’t protect me.  These people are what they were so blindly devoted to.  I know I can’t make them accept the truth, of course, but I can fling it at them & hope for the best.  Maybe a seed will be planted…

 

Reading these can be very triggering.  If you don’t feel strong enough to read details of narcissistic abuse at this time, you really should consider skipping this post.  You can always come back to it at another time.

 

Here we are… my father’s notes.  His handwriting can be a bit hard to read so I typed everything out.  I’m showing both versions to see side by side, so no one can say I’m lying.  I typed each line out exactly as he wrote it for clarity, & my comments are on the side.

 

My father’s notes…

my father's notes 1

 

My copy

my father's notes 1 with my comments

Second page of my father’s notes

my father's notes 2

 

My copy

 

my father's notes 2 with my comments

 

Last page of my father’s notes

my father's notes 3.jpg

 

My copy

my father's notes 3 with my comments

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How To Deal With Guilt Trips

 

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About Non-Apologies

 

**I have NO idea why, but this video turned out with a black screen rather than like the normal videos.  The audio works just fine though.  I apologize for any inconvenience!**

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Narcissists & Dominance

Whether overt or covert, narcissists are control freaks.  They must be in control of their environment & the people in it at all times.  We all know overt narcissists use fear & covert narcissists guilt to accomplish this, but there are other methods they also use.

Narcissists may use ignoring a person as a means of control.  They accomplish this in many ways.  They may simply ignore the victim in conversation, acting as if the person didn’t say anything when they did.  The narcissist may talk over the victim in conversation.  They may conveniently “forget” to invite the victim to a gathering.  If the victim arrives with someone, the narcissist may greet that person while ignoring the victim.  When a person is ignored this way, they may shut down, fading quietly into the background which leaves more room for the narcissist to get attention.  Or, they may question the narcissist, wondering what they did wrong & pleading with the narcissist to forgive them.  Ignoring a victim also lets that person know that the narcissist thinks they are unworthy of the narcissist’s attention, so the victim may try harder & harder to please the narcissist.

Interrupting is another display of dominance narcissists use.  When most people have a conversation, & someone interrupts them, they stop talking to let the interrupting person talk.  Narcissists will use this natural proclivity to their advantage.  My father used this tactic a LOT.  In fact, he put a unique spin on it.  When I started talking, he would open his mouth as if he was going to talk, then close it quickly.  Naturally, I thought I was interrupting him, so I encouraged him to talk.  One day after a visit, I prayed about it.  I don’t usually interrupt people, so why was I doing it with him?!  God showed me I wasn’t.  My father was using this tactic to get me to stop talking so he could talk.  I hate bad manners, he knew it & used that to dominate our conversations.

Shock is a big favorite with narcissists.  If a narcissist is a part of a group of people & not the center of attention, that narcissist is incredibly uncomfortable.  She feels out of sorts, & will do whatever it takes to restore her position of being in control & being the center of attention.  One method she may use to regain her position is by shocking everyone in the group.  She may start talking loudly & suddenly about an entirely different topic of conversation.  She may blurt out some weird or disturbing facts that is so odd that it gets everyone’s attention.  She may walk away while someone is talking, make a loud noise or even spill her purse to restore the balance of power she wants.  My mother once broke into song when my father & I left her out of our conversation.  Remember the old musical, “Oklahoma!”?  Apparently my mother does.  She started singing the theme song.  Loudly.  Since this was well before I knew anything about NPD, my father & I ended our conversation at that point.  Attention was focused back on her, as she wanted.

Possibly the most disgusting way narcissist try to assert their dominance is with body functions.  Even passing gas or burping isn’t too low for a narcissist desperate enough to establish dominance.  They also may blow their nose extremely loudly or make the sounds more disgusting than need be.  If they don’t use a body function, they will at least talk about them.  My mother has irritable bowel syndrome & has absolutely no trouble discussing all the gory details of it.  Body functions are so seldom a part of a conversation in any way that when it happens, people are naturally shocked & notice the person who brought them into the conversation.

The best way I’ve found to deal with these dominant behaviors is very simple.  Ignore them.  Pretend the narcissist didn’t say or do anything unusual.  Carry on with your conversation as usual.  If she interrupts you, you can either talk over her or wait until she is finished, then resume your previous conversation.  If she ignores you, pretend not to notice.  The same goes if she uses shock value or body functions- pretend you notice nothing whatsoever.  By ignoring the narcissist’s attempts to dominate, you aren’t allowing her to dominate.  You’re depriving her of narcissistic supply, which is the best thing you can do with any narcissist.

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Narcissists Love When Victims Suck Up To Them

Narcissists love to have power over their victims.  To hurt someone either mentally, physically or sexually gives them a feeling of power.  Possibly the only thing that makes narcissists feel even more powerful is watching their victim suck up to them.

When a victim is genuinely repentant & will do anything to make it up to their abuser, this is a huge power trip for the narcissist.  They know they can make that victim do anything at this point.  There also is the added bonus of the victim accepting responsibility for whatever the narcissist did.  This means the narcissist doesn’t have to take any blame at all.  (Not that they would anyway, but at least in this situation, they don’t have to work to pawn that blame off on someone else).

Narcissists are incredibly good at manipulation & gaslighting- making a person doubt their own thoughts, feelings, perceptions & even sanity.  Because of this, it’s no wonder many victims in the midst of narcissistic abuse continually apologize & suck up to their abuser.  I certainly have done my fair share of it before learning about narcissism.  (If you have too, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.  I doubt there is one victim of narcissistic abuse that hasn’t apologized to their abuser at least a couple of times.)

If you’re still in a relationship with a narcissist, I’m sure you’re faced with the scenario at least periodically, where the narcissist is angry with you & demands that you apologize.  Or maybe she prefers suddenly to stop speaking to you, with no explanation whatsoever, in an attempt to make you rush to her side, begging for her to speak to you again.

Having been there, I learned something.  Don’t do it!!!

If you have done something wrong, then by all means, apologize.  It’s just the right, mature thing to do.  Say you’re sorry, make things right if you can, & move on.

If you haven’t done something wrong, then do NOT apologize!  If you do it once, the narcissist will demand you do it again & again.  She will use you & wear you down to get you to make it up to her for whatever horrible thing you supposedly did.

If a person can’t behave like a mature adult by trying to work out a problem, then don’t treat them as if they are one.  Let that narcissist pout like the bratty child she’s acting like while you ignore her ridiculous display.  If she’s trying to make you feel guilty, pretend not to notice.  If she hints for an apology, also pretend not to notice.  Learn to enjoy the silent treatment if you’re on the receiving end of it.  It’s a reprieve from unnecessary drama- why not enjoy it?

Stop trying to make it up to a narcissist who isn’t telling you what you’ve done wrong or who blames you for them abusing you!  It only provides them with narcissistic supply, & the more you provide, the more they will demand from you.

Making it up to someone you have hurt is one thing.  It should be a normal thing for a person to do as well as the one hurt to expect.  However, when someone constantly expects another person to make it up to them without trying to talk things out, or because they abused their victim, something is very, very wrong with this situation.

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When Narcissists Claim To Be The Real Victim

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About Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

Since my last post was about red flags in those who write about narcissism, I thought I’d make today’s post about fellow survivors.

Most people who have survived narcissistic abuse are good people who are trying hard to recover. Naturally they have issues, but at least they’re working on them & working on getting healthier. They also are willing to share what they learn to help others in similar situations, & do so without any arrogance. They’re also open to input from other people, because they realize they don’t know it all- there is always more to learn on this topic.

Not every victim is this way, however. Some turn abusive.

I don’t know why some victims try to heal & why some become abusive but it does happen sometimes. If you’re going to interact with other victims through online support groups, reading blogs or on social media, you need to be aware of some red flags.

The biggest red flag to watch out for is narcissism. Many of you know the signs already so I won’t repeat them here. I’ll just share a link to the page on my website where I wrote about it if you care to check it out: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Narcissistic-Personality-Disorder.php

There are other red flags, too. If a person gives advice too freely, for example. While most victims want to help others, they also realize how rude it is to give unasked for advice. They also realize sometimes a person just needs to speak things out loud to help them work through a situation, & that doesn’t mean they’re looking for advice.

If a person is bossy or demanding with their advice, that’s another red flag. Most people realize that all people are individuals. What worked for them may not work for another. They realize it’s not a good idea to try to force someone to follow their advice & let the other person decide for themselves whether or not to follow it.

Your average victim of narcissistic abuse also isn’t judgmental or critical. They know all too well what it feels like to be judged & criticized so harshly, so they don’t inflict that on anyone else. Some victims turned abusers, however, can be extremely judgmental & critical.

Some victims also become very arrogant. They seem to think because they found success in doing something that helped them, that everyone should follow in their footsteps & if they don’t, they’re foolish.

These same people are also usually the first ones to shame people who, “don’t just go no contact.” They make it clear they don’t believe there is any reason not to go no contact, & they offer no compassion to anyone who wants to but it unable to or is trying to find another option.

Abusive victims also make excuses. If they are short with someone, it’s always for a reason like they’re having a bad da, as one example. They don’t apologize or accept responsibility for the hurtful things they do.

And, if you call a person like this out on their actions, they WILL be furious. They may offer a non apology. They may offer lame excuses for their behavior. They also may get mad at you. That in particular is a big red flag, because most victims of narcissistic abuse apologize easily & often. They don’t get mad when called out on their bad behavior. They usually get mad only when someone is accusing them of something they didn’t do.

One other red flag is a smear campaign. This is very common on social media. If someone feels the online support group they participated in wasn’t a good environment for example, social media is an easy way to let the world know how you feel about it. That is pretty normal behavior, I think, but if a person posts about that group in a way that really trashes it, that is a red flag.

The last red flag is stalking or harassing another person online. With your average victim of narcissistic abuse, they may have a dispute with someone then either stop speaking with them or even block them entirely. A victim who is also abusive however, may harass or stalk someone who disagreed with them. They may leave nasty comments on their page or join groups the other person is in & harass them in the group. This nonsense can go on for a very long time, especially with narcissists.

The best advice I can give in these situations is the Gray Rock method. Don’t react to their outrageous behavior or show them that what they do bothers you. Remain calm & ignore their behavior. Don’t defend yourself to their smear campaigns. Instead, simply block them wherever you can. Most people like this will get bored easily & leave you alone at this point. Narcissists may not be so simple to get rid of however. They may bother you for a long time. Never, ever respond to them- instead keep blocking them & their flying monkeys.

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About Passive/Aggressive Behavior

No doubt you have heard about passive/aggressive behavior, but do you know what it is?  You need to know, because many narcissists behave in this way.

 

Passive/aggressive behavior is very sneaky.  It makes you wonder if the person acting that way is  mad at you or not.  The worst part may be that when you confront the passive/aggressive person, they have a plausible sounding explanation for their behavior.  This makes you doubt your perception of the situation.  Plausible deniability is always a part of passive/aggression, as is the desire to punish another person.

 

Passive/aggressive behavior is deliberately inefficient, quiet in that the person refuses to discuss their needs & avoids responsibility.  Some examples of it are….

 

Not doing things well.   A passive/aggressive spouse may put the laundry in the washer but fail to put them in the dryer for hours claiming he thought you would do that.  Or, she may leave your car with virtually no gas in it after using it after you argue.  Usually whatever is done poorly is something that has happened countless times before, & rather than argue about it, you just fix the problem quietly.

 

Running late.  Some people are always running behind due to poor time management skills, being forgetful or another reasonable excuse.  Passive/aggressive people, however, are not that way.  If they have a punctual partner, you can guarantee that they will run late periodically solely for the purpose of irritating that partner.  They may say they forgot that special event was in an hour, so they will take their time getting ready & you end up leaving two minutes before the event is due to start.

 

The silent treatment.  Passive/aggressive people love the silent treatment.  Rather than saying,, “I was upset when you did something.. can we work it out?” they simply stop talking to you.  If you try to ask what is wrong, they refuse to admit anything is wrong or get angry at you for not knowing what is wrong.  The silent treatment is designed to make you come crawling to the person & work hard to gain their forgiveness.  Don’t fall for it!

 

Backhanded complements.  We’ve all heard these at some point.  Passive/aggressive people use them often.  Comments like, “Nice hair cut.  It really helps hide all that gray hair.”  or, “I used to have an outfit just like that!  I stopped wearing it after high school though.” are just two examples of backhanded complements.  If a passive/aggressive person says such a comment to you, chances are he or she feels threatened by you in some way.  Maybe that person thinks you look more attractive than they do, you’re smarter or more talented.  Sometimes backhanded complements can be hard to spot, so just notice how you feel when someone gives you a complement.  Genuine complements leave you wanting to thank the person & feeling good.  Backhanded complements leave you feeling offended & even confused wondering what the person who said it meant by their words.

 

Fake concern.  Closely related to the backhanded complements are the fake concern comments.  When a passive/aggressive persons says, “I don’t mean to sound judgmental/insensitive, but…” you can guarantee the next words out of that person’s mouth will be judgmental &/or insensitive.  This is their way of saying nasty things to you while appearing to be helpful.  If you say anything about how judgmental or insensitive the person is at this point, you are going to look like a jerk to anyone who doesn’t realize what is happening.  That is a bonus for a passive/aggressive person- making you look bad on top of insulting you.

 

Destruction & sabotage.  Sometimes passive/aggressive people will “accidentally” destroy something important to you when they’re upset with you.  That could be something like “accidentally” spilling red wine on your favorite white shirt or a coworker “forgetting” to tell you that the project you’ve been working hard on is no longer due next week, but in two days.

 

So, how can a person deal with the obnoxious passive/aggressive behavior?  First, be aware of it.  Learn what you can about recognizing the signs.

 

Second, set & enforce good boundaries.  If your friend is always late, stop waiting on her.  Meet her at the restaurant & order without her.  Or, stop hanging out with her at all.

 

Third, never forget to stay calm at all times.  Pretend not to be flustered by their actions.  If you show that you are upset, they will do it again & again.

 

Forth, never forget to pray.  God will help you to identify & deal with this awful behavior in the most effective ways possible.  All you have to do is ask Him to.

 

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Some Ways Narcissists Use Shame

Narcissists love using shame as a weapon.  Not only does it make them feel superior, but it takes attention off of their bad behavior while simultaneously discrediting their victim.  It also makes a victim easy to control.  Shame is a very effective weapon.

 

There are various ways narcissists use shame.

Narcissists reinvent the past.  They tell stories differently than they actually happened.  They either claim to be the reason someone succeeded or twist the story so the other person looks stupid, like a failure, etc.  Since narcissists speak with such certainty, this can make a victim doubt their own memories & feel ashamed for something they didn’t even do.

 

They tell embarrassing stories about their victim.  Narcissistic parents in particular seem to love this one.  They tell stories that the victim would rather people don’t know about.  My mother used this one with me, telling stories (usually in front of other people) of when I was a child & did stupid things.  When I said I didn’t want her discussing these stories, she would shame me for how I felt, saying I was wrong & shouldn’t feel the way I did.  It took a long time to realize that I wasn’t wrong- my feelings were just & this was nothing but an attempt on her part to make me feel shame.

 

Playing the role of victim.  No matter what a narcissist does to a victim, they have the amazing ability to spin the situation in their favor, so they look like the victim, & the real victim is abusive.  This can create shame in a victim very easily unless the victim is well aware of this game.

 

Religion can become a weapon.  No true narcissist can be a Christian at the same time.  Narcissism is diametrically opposed to the beliefs of Christianity.  However, that doesn’t mean a narcissist won’t use Christianity to shame victims.  Growing up, my mother told me I was going to hell for how badly I treated her.   Later in life, a flying monkey said I was a bad Christian for treating my parents as I do & claiming to be a Christian.  Thankfully, I also have a good enough relationship with God to know what they said was utter nonsense.  If I didn’t, that comment would have caused a great deal of hurt & doubting my salvation!

 

“I was only joking!”  “You’re too sensitive!”  Nasty comments said to a victim followed by, “I was just kidding!”  “Can’t you take a joke?”  “You’re so sensitive!”  & the like are also designed to make a victim feel ashamed for being righteously angry that they were offended by the narcissist’s cruel words.  The goal is to make you feel ashamed of yourself for not realizing the narcissist was only kidding (which they weren’t) or being so sensitive you were offended by their “joke.”  Don’t fall for it.  You aren’t wrong!

 

Comparisons.  If you & the narcissist have done similar things, you can guarantee the narcissist has done it better, at least if you listen to her side of the story.  Everything with narcissists is a pissing contest (sorry to be crude- that’s the best term I know of to describe this situation).  If you found a cure for cancer, they found it first, but didn’t want to brag like you’re doing!  See what I mean?  If they can make you feel badly for not being as good or as talented as them, that sows a seed for shame in you.

 

Talking down to others.  Even a narcissist that isn’t overly intelligent can make a very intelligent victim feel stupid, & ashamed of being so stupid.  Narcissists love to talk in circles & use big words (often that they don’t know the proper definition of & not in context).  If you leave a conversation with a narcissist & your head is swimming, it’s not because you’re stupid.  It’s because narcissists are masters of talking in circles, which is also known as word salad.

 

Acting as if the narcissist is the adult, the victim the child.  This is very common among narcissistic parents.  They’re all about keeping their children, children, no matter their child’s age.  A person who thinks they’re immature & not wise like the narcissist is very easy to control.  Narcissistic parents may continue using a tone of voice that intimidated their children when they were growing up well into that child’s adulthood.  They may call victims immature or mock them with phrases like, “You’re such a baby/child!”  “You’re so immature!”  “You need to grow up!”

 

Remember this post if you’re faced with these behaviors.  You do NOT need to feel shame!  No one should put that on you, but narcissists will try to.  If they do, never accept it.  Ask God to tell you the truth.  Also, look at your situation objectively & you will realize the truth.  Write about it in a journal, too, since writing often gives a great deal of clarity that speaking can’t.  You can deal with this unhealthy behavior in a healthy way!

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Lies Narcissistic Parents Tell Their Children

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Covert Narcissist Flying Monkeys

Clearly not all flying monkeys are narcissists.  There are some well meaning people who are genuinely fooled by the narcissist you know.  We’ve all been fooled by narcissists, so it’s understandable this happens.  It’s hard to be too mad at them when you see their eyes begin to open & they realize that the narcissist isn’t that great person they thought they were.

 

Unfortunately though, I believe there are many flying monkeys who are covert narcissists.  They enjoy torturing you on behalf of the narcissist while at the same time, making themselves look like the good guy who is just trying to help.

 

A huge red flag that you’re dealing with a covert narcissist flying monkey is when someone claims to care for or love you, but they don’t show any interest in you.  They don’t care about what is happening in your life, what you’re proud of, what struggles you face, your needs, feelings, likes or dislikes.   They only want to talk about the narcissist or what you need to do to fix that relationship.

 

When you try to talk to this person, they shut you down quickly, no matter the topic.  They can accomplish this through interrupting you, making jokes at your expense or making you feel foolish for whatever it is you’re talking about.  Or, this person may listen to you or read something you’ve written only to tell you that you’re wrong.

 

If you try to talk to this person about the narcissist in your life, you can guarantee this person will shut you down quickly & in whatever way they believe will make you feel the most ashamed.  One of my parents’ flying monkeys was my Facebook friend for quite some time.  She had a lot of confidence online, saying things she would never say to my face.  She butted in on a conversation I had with someone else regarding my parents to say, “You need to get into therapy to figure out how you can fix things!  Don’t you dare tell me it won’t work!”  In a completely different conversation, I mentioned to someone else that although my father & I had virtually nothing in common, we did share a love of classic cars.  The flying monkey said, “Honey, you need to figure out some things you two can share!  You need to start finding things you two have in common right now!”  I deleted the comment, & a few days later, she commented on another post with, “I know you don’t want to hear anything from mean old me, but I think you should….” (I forget what the topic was she felt she needed to advise me on).  I knew what she was about by this point, so her behavior didn’t manipulate me.  It only made me angry she said the ridiculous things she did.

 

Covert narcissist flying monkeys also play dumb very well.  They may claim that they don’t know why you’re angry with the narcissist.  They try to get you to confide in them about the problem, saying it’s because they care for you, when the truth is they’ll only run to the narcissist with anything you say.  And, if you sever ties with this person, they may ignore the fact you’ve blocked their phone number, email address & social media & find other ways to contact you “just to say hi”.  Their message most likely will appear sickeningly sweet.  The flying monkey I mentioned earlier?  Her message like this called me “sweetie” & was signed, “love you.”  She never called me sweetie any other time, so yes, I took that as a red flag.

 

So why do these covertly narcissistic flying monkeys act this way?  I think they have what they consider to be excellent reasons.

 

They want to prove to you that narcissistic behavior is OK, & there is something wrong with you for thinking otherwise.  If they can convince you of that, they can control you as can the narcissist for whom they’re the flying monkey.

 

Also, if they can convince you that narcissistic behavior is acceptable, then they think they can convince you that you should do all the work in the relationship with them & the other narcissist.  If you feel obligated in that way, a narcissist has it made.  They can get you to do anything at all they want.

 

These flying monkeys are extremely devious & convincing.  You need to be fully aware of what they’re up to in order to protect yourself against their mental warfare.

 

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